AirAsia PH Patriots desperately seeking a winBy Jasmine W. Payo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
THE STRING of losses late in the elimination round has gotten the AirAsia Philippine Patriots a bit worried.
Although assured of the No. 2 spot, the Patriots see no room to relax against the Jobstreet.com Singapore Slingers in the Asean Basketball League today.
“Whoever will grab the No. 3 and No. 4 spots at the end of the eliminations will have a high level of confidence going into the playoff round, so we have to win,” said Patriots coach Glenn Capacio.
Game time is 6 p.m. at Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City.
The Patriots dropped three of their last four assignments for a 14-5 record and yielded the top spot to the San Miguel Beermen, who now lead the eight-team field with a 16-4 card.
Both Philippine squads, though, will tote a homecourt advantage in the semifinals as an incentive for securing the top two spots in the eliminations.
“We need to have the winning mood going into the semifinal series, so it’s going to be business as usual for all of us,” said Capacio.
Although Singapore has yet to win over the Patriots this season, the Slingers are expected to come out strong in their bid for the last semifinal berth.
The Slingers hold a fifth-best record at 8-10 behind the Westports Malaysia Dragons and the Indonesia Warriors, who are tied at 10-9.
With locals led by Al Vergara and Aldrech Ramos expected to deliver more, the Patriots hope to recover from the stinging losses against Malaysia (93-97, OT), Indonesia (79-104) and San Miguel (78-93).
The Patriots’ lone win in the last three weeks came against the Saigon Heat (76-70).
Imports Anthony Johnson and Nakiea Miller paced the Patriots in their last outing versus the Dragons with a combined 41 points.